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How 'memory' T cells curb the spread of viruses throughout the body

need to migrate from the lymph nodes to the site of viral entry.

“It was very difficult to imagine how the memory T cells could win this race,” said Sigal, the lead author of the study.

The Fox Chase experiments show that memory CD8 T cells rapidly multiply and kill target cells inside the lymph node.

“In fact we found that memory CD8 T cells already killed target cells in the lymph node and decreased viral spread to the liver and spleen when the virus just barely started to multiply.”

Thus, memory CD8 T cells do not prevent infection; but prevent disease partly because they curb the spread of the virus from the lymph node to vital organs at very early stages of the infection.

“It’s like having a security check point,” said Sigal. “Also, many cancers, like viruses, must pass through lymph nodes to metastasize, so this research may help develop vaccines that prevent tumor metastases.”


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Source:Fox Chase Cancer Center


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